Castilleja took a big step toward defending its West Bay Athletic League regular-season golf title by defeating host Harker, 187-189, on Monday at Los Lagos Golf Course in San Jose.
The victory moved the Gators to 5-0 in league, giving them a two-match lead over Harker, Menlo School and Sacred Heart Prep halfway through the season.
Harker sophomore Katherine Zhu shot a brilliant 5-under 29 on the front nine to catapult Harker into an 11-shot cushion after the first match until Castilleja started chipping away at the lead.
When Castilleja junior Risa Yang, playing in the final group, birdied the last two holes for a 41, the Gators found themselves celebrating a two-shot victory.
Castilleja freshmen Alyssa Sales (33), Divya Tadimeti (36) and Niav Layton (37) paved the way while another solid performance by senior Paris Wilkerson (40) kept the Gators in the dual match.
"Colby Choi (47) kept Risa laughing throughout the match," said Castilleja coach Donn Levine, "and that may have contributed to Risa's birdie-birdie finish."
Last year, playing with three seniors at Los Lagos, Castilleja shot a remarkable 179. With the new freshman replacing them, the future looks bright for the Gators.
Elsewhere in WBAL action Monday:
With sophomore Sophie Siminoff carding two birdies and shooting a 1-under 33, Menlo School remained in a tie for second place with a 204-258 victory over Mercy-Burlingame at Palo Alto Municipal on Monday. Jessie Rong fashioned a 3-over 37 with Lauren Yang shooting 43, Claire Wilson a 44 and Erin Broderick a 47 as the Knights improved to 3-2.
In Atherton, Sacred Heart Prep (3-2, 3-3) also stayed in a tie for second following a 235-251 victory over Notre Dame-San Jose at Menlo Country Club. Sinead Haley and Cami Steppe each shot 45 to lead the Gators with Lauren von Thaden adding a 46.